Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

Before Refraining: Concepts for Agency

Nuel Belnap
Erkenntnis (1975-)
Vol. 34, No. 2 (Mar., 1991), pp. 137-169
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20012334
Page Count: 33
  • Download ($43.95)
  • Cite this Item
Before Refraining: Concepts for Agency
Preview not available

Abstract

A structure is described that can serve as a foundation for a semantics for a modal agentive construction such as "α sees to it that Q" ([α stit: Q]). The primitives are . Eleven simple postulates governing this structure are set forth and motivated. Tree and ≤ encode a picture of branching time consisting of "moments" gathered into maximal chains called "histories." Instant imposes a timelike ordering. Agent consists of agents, and choice assigns to each agent and each moment in Tree a set of "possible choices", where each possible choice is a set of histories. All of these ingredients are referred to in the semantics suggested for [α stit: Q]. The most complex part of the discussion is the motivation for the definition of what it means for a typically non-terminating chain of moments jointly to witness the truth of [α stit: Q] at a moment. The paper begins with an informal account of the "Refref conjecture", which says that the only way to refrain from refraining from seeing to something is to see to it. The paper ends with a consideration of an argument of Prior's that in a certain sense contemplation and action are inconsistent.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[137]
    [137]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
138
    138
  • Thumbnail: Page 
139
    139
  • Thumbnail: Page 
140
    140
  • Thumbnail: Page 
141
    141
  • Thumbnail: Page 
142
    142
  • Thumbnail: Page 
143
    143
  • Thumbnail: Page 
144
    144
  • Thumbnail: Page 
145
    145
  • Thumbnail: Page 
146
    146
  • Thumbnail: Page 
147
    147
  • Thumbnail: Page 
148
    148
  • Thumbnail: Page 
149
    149
  • Thumbnail: Page 
150
    150
  • Thumbnail: Page 
151
    151
  • Thumbnail: Page 
152
    152
  • Thumbnail: Page 
153
    153
  • Thumbnail: Page 
154
    154
  • Thumbnail: Page 
155
    155
  • Thumbnail: Page 
156
    156
  • Thumbnail: Page 
157
    157
  • Thumbnail: Page 
158
    158
  • Thumbnail: Page 
159
    159
  • Thumbnail: Page 
160
    160
  • Thumbnail: Page 
161
    161
  • Thumbnail: Page 
162
    162
  • Thumbnail: Page 
163
    163
  • Thumbnail: Page 
164
    164
  • Thumbnail: Page 
165
    165
  • Thumbnail: Page 
166
    166
  • Thumbnail: Page 
167
    167
  • Thumbnail: Page 
168
    168
  • Thumbnail: Page 
169
    169